For Sean & his students

Sean had this wonderful post on his blog (Is this a sluggish strategy?) about this whole scientific and mathematical poetry that is going around. He links to some excellent sci-po’s written by his students (see Pushing Scientific Thought Into Art) and also provides a nice protocol for those who want to apply it in their own classrooms.

It is amazing to me just how this idea has spread. It has en-livened my life, I can say that much. Anyway, I wanted to say thanks to Sean (and his students) – and what better way to say it than in verse. So here is: For Sean & his students

For Sean & his students

There’s this high-school teacher named Sean Nash
Never to scared to try anything pedagogically rash
Having written an extended sci-po
On his favorite subject, (no surprise) bio
He now expected his students to add to the stash.

Some people wonder, why? Why did Sean get this curse?
I mean this is science class, what could be worse
Than poems about bugs
And photosynthesizing slugs?
Please, they said, save kids from writing silly scientific verse.

They are in class to learn, the critics say, their days to grind
To strengthen and develop their test-taking mind
Give them definitions to remember
From January to December
Did you forget the mandates of No child Left Behind?

Sean looks at these critics, the nay-sayers, self-appointed
Who critique him for approaches they feel are disjointed
If you really want to see
The value of this, come with me
He says, his voice, for some reason, sharp and pointed

The picture is different in the classroom, as students sweat
Over the essence and meaning of science, they struggle and fret
But with effort and time
They hit on the perfect rhyme
And when done, they share it worldwide, on the Internet.

The value of what they do, the students, they do know it.
And in their poems and other work they clearly show it
Dichotomies they spurn
As they create and learn
The value or being both a scientist and a poet!


  1. Ally, Laci & Kylie… Thank you for your comments. This poem was written completely as a way of saying thank you to all of you for the great work you guys are doing. I had fun writing it and am glad to know that you had liked it. ~ punya

  2. This is so cool to have someone comment on the work that we do in class. I think that the Sci-Po idea was such a great one. Now every time that I read an article..I think of a way to summarize it in a poem. It just makes since and it is an easy way to inform and include other people. Obviously not everyone can read every news article and keep up all the time in the world of science. Sci-Pos are quick, informational reads. Doing the Sci-Po in class was a fun project because it brings out more in the student than just the researching and learning but also the creativity. Loved it!

  3. Hello Punya – This is Laci Shoemaker from Mr. Nash’s biology class in Saint Joseph. I want to thank you for the time you took to write this for our class, it really means a lot to us. :) You and your family are so creative and it makes me smile. I love all the things you write, and I hope to read more in the future. Once again, thank you for this beautiful piece of work.

  4. Punya,

    I’m one of Mr. Nash’s students, and I was really excited when I saw a post about our class. The poem is really nice. :D

    Just saying thanks! We’re really glad that we were introduced to this new idea. Love it!

    Ally Sexton.

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